A Friday evening trip with Chuck Many on his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands started well as Capt. Hans Kaspersetz hooked a rod bender on his light rod that turned out to be about a 6-pound worm-eating bluefish. I then got the right hit on sandworms drifted in Shrewsbury River, and had a good tussle with a 30-inch striper before it was released.

Al & Hans 30-inch bass

Chuck had to run the boat in order for us to make a proper presentation in the strong current, but Hans and I each only released a short bass before we dropped Hans off at the dock. I stuck it out with Chuck as he checked several areas, but the marks we recorded just didn’t turn into hits. I finally hooked a 26-incher upriver, but we were drifting so fast that it felt like I was trolling that bass on the surface while reeling it in.  It’s hard to believe that stripers could pass up juicy sandworms drifting past them, but I’ve seen the same thing happen on other occasions. A gusty and cool northwest wind didn’t help, but we were treated to the sight of decorated boats participating in the Festival of Lights

There was some good news on the fluke front today. Capt. Ron Santee said he had a perfect drift all day, and it turned out to be one of the top ten trips of the year so far on the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands. Several fares limited, and others bagged two fluke. June Benson boated a 7.4-pound fluke. There was also a showing of big sea bass.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar only picked on bluefish with jigs, but added chub mackerel on bait plus some sea bass. They have postponed Tuesday’s 16-hour tuna trip due to the forecast for that day. It will be run on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

Vinny D’Anton didn’t get any good news on stripers from Monmouth County beaches this morning, while he tried Shark River which also disappointed.

Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant reported that he and some shop regulars caught cocktail blues, Spanish mackerel and fluke in the local surf before the sun got high. Small metals and teasers did the job.

I took a shot at Spring Lake where those fishing before I arrived said they were bothered by snappers. They were gone when I started popping, but I did get one solid hit before heading for breakfast,

Scott Leadbeater fished his 20-foot Aquasport out of Atlantic Highlands yesterday along with Tim Moger of Belmar as they scratched out two legal fluke among some shorts off the Nay Pier and in Chapel Hill Channel in good drifting conditions with the west wind and outgoing tide. A move to Flynn’s Knoll produced two more keepers on the mussel beds.

Monday’s forecast is for west winds at 5-10 knots before becoming 10-15 with gusts to 25 in the afternoon.

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